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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Picking Up The Pieces In Sandy-Devastated Towns

A group of volunteers from Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire pause for a photo outside a damaged home in Holgate, N.J. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)

In the coming weeks, hundreds of New York City homes deemed safety hazards after Superstorm Sandy will be razed in an operation Mayor Michael Bloomberg described as “unprecedented.”

Some 200 homes in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island will fall to the bulldozers.

That’s in addition to the 200 or so homes already demolished after being damaged by wind, water or by storm-sparked fire.

And building inspectors must still issue a ruling on another 500 damaged structures, some of which could also meet the same fate.

New York is still picking up after last month’s mammoth confluence of a hurricane and a nor’easter, which landed a direct blow on the city and New Jersey.

Holgate, N.J. resident Dwight Hutchinson (left) and volunteers from Saint Anselm College assess the damage caused by Sandy. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)

One of the most devastated towns on the Jersey Shore is Holgate, a mix of two and three story homes and trailer parks on the southern tip of Long Beach Island, just north of Atlantic City.

Three weeks after Sandy, homes and businesses still don’t have electricity, or gas for heat and hot water.

This past weekend, residents were allowed through police barricades to survey the damage and salvage what they could.

Here & Now’s Chris Ballman was on the Jersey Shore helping his dad tear down walls and remove waterlogged insulation from the family home on Barnegat Bay.

He took a break to spend some time in Holgate, N.J. Click on the SoundCloud at the top of the page to hear his audio postcard.


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  • RD

    Why can’t FEMA put up a site that states what is needed in order to get electricity and heat on , and roads cleared,  and co-ordinate those that volunteer to do this?  It seems crazy in this area to have people without heat and electricity still and to have homes not cleaned up. 
    There are so many who would be willing to help if they knew how they would be truly effective.

  • Shaigh23

    What time will this story be airing?

  • Robin

    Thanks Chris, for taking time from helping your family to gather this great story.

    R

  • http://twitter.com/jhf2009 Johanna Fredrics

    So sorry to look at these pictures and hear the stories of the people. It is difficult to look at the sand and not think that it is snow piled up like that. Thank you for taking the time to help all of us remember that you guys are still going to be dealing with this for a long time to come. God Bless and take care.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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